Built in 1926 by Harland & Wolff of Belfast she was, at that time, the largest motor ship in the world. She was also the first Royal Mail passenger ship which had a cruiser stern, her forward funnel was a dummy. Her maiden voyage was to the South American with Commodore E.W.E. Morrison in command. She was Royal Mail's representative at the Silver Jubilee Spithead Review in 1935 for George V and Queen Mary.
At the outbreak of WW2 she was converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser for use on the South Atlantic patrols, her fore funnel and mainmast were removed to improve the capabilities of her anti-aircraft guns. In July of 1943 she was torpedoed in the South Atlantic but was successfully towed to Freetown some five hundred miles by the tug Zwarte Zee. With her Engine Room flooded she lay there for two years and was finally abandoned by Royal Mail.
In 1945 again under tow by Zwarte Zee with an escort of seven Corvettes she made her way to Gibraltar for temporary repairs before being towed to Belfast for an extensive refit. She then became a Government Emigrant ship and departed Southampton 12-10-1946 for Sydney on her first run for the Australian Migrant Service.
She continued on this Service without a break until arrival at Southampton 30-10-1952 after her final return from Sydney.
On these homeward journeys she carried Australian troops who disembarked for duty at Malta or other ports en route.
She was commissioned as a British troopship in 1952. Her first voyage departed Southampton for the Far east on 20 Nov 1952 - carrying Australian Naval Personnel.
Following this first run the ship continued trooping from UK to the Far East (including repatriation of British troops from Korea and Japan) until her last return to Southampton 27 Aug 1957. She was released from Sea Transport service 12 Sept 1957 and played the part of Titanic in 'A Night to Remember' filmed at Faslane in Scotland before being sold for scrap.
Outbound from Southampton to Singapore
20 Nov 1952
3 Feb, 22 Apr, 7 Jul & 7 Oct 1953
2 Jan, 1 Apr, 16 Jun & 10 Dec 1954
9 Mar, 10 Jun & 30 Dec 1955
22 Mar & 14 Jun 1956
15 Mar & 14 Jun 1957
Inbound from Singapore to Southampton
13 Jan, 10 Apr, 16 Jun, 15 Sep & 13 Dec 1953
13 Mar, 25 May, 24 Aug & 11 Nov 1954
15 Feb, 11 May, 12 Aug & 2 Dec 1955
3 Mar, 26 May & 28 Aug 1956
28 May & 27 Aug 1957